Eternal Tears Of Sorrow

Children Of The Dark Waters

Written by: PP on 23/06/2009 18:24:03

Even though the statement that follows should be complete hogwash, there's an element of truth in it nonetheless. There's a huge quality-difference between gothic metal from the Germany/Austria/Swizerland region and gothic metal from Finland and Sweden. Bands from the former tend to be rather ordinary at every front, resembling each other in every possible meaning of the word generic and only rarely (if ever) coming through with good releases. Bands from the latter tend to do the complete opposite: be it Amberian Dawn and Nightwish, or For My Pain... and Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, almost all releases and bands seem to be of higher standard and quality. Their records are original, feature interesting composition, and a great contrast between death/black elements and the delicacies of gothic metal.

As you may have guessed, that is also the case on Eternal Tears Of Sorrow's new album "Children Of The Dark Waters". You could brand them symphonic gothic metal if you like, but the symphony part hasn't been overdone. So instead of dominating the soundscape, the symphonies are casting in a strong support role behind the crunchy guitars and industrial-style echoing drumming. There's lots of variance as well: the synths can go from sounding like a full-scale symphonic orchestra on "Summon The Wild" to the technical, Children Of Bodom-esque melodeath style where they are battling against the guitars during instrumental passages. Furthermore, there isn't an annoying female vocalist ruining the strength of their expression with some stupid weak, whiny and high-pitch voice. Most of the vocals are handled by bassist Altti Veteläinen whose melodic growl is nice and uncontrollable in nature, it sounds like his vocal chords are about to snap at any instant. Occasionally you do get some clean vocals in the mix from Jarmo Kylmänen, whose voice reminds me of the HIM singer - most of the time it's simply a baritone but occasionally he does reach towards a falsetto as well during the climaxes of the songs.

But although the singing and growling are both well done, the real focus on the record lies with the two axewielders. Their ability to fire out blistering solos as well as technical and memorable riffs is what makes this album work. Take "Baptized By The Blood Of Angels", for instance, where the keyboards provide a nice technical contrast behind the thrashy shredding and the twin-guitar melodies of the chorus. If it wasn't for the Nightwish style symphony on the background, some bits of the song could even be on an Children Of Bodom record. At the same time, however, there are a few tracks that feel like filler towards the end of the record, especially when you place them in contrast with ETOS side project For My Pain...'s recently release "Fallen", which was a stronger record overall. But even these are decent (and much better than G/A/S gothic metal), and therefore only small details on a generally solid record.

7

Download: Baptized By The Blood Of Angels
For the fans of: Paradise Lost, Children Of Bodom, For My Pain...
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.05.2009
Massacre Records

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